Smart Quill Editorial About the Editor

A Smart Quillish New Look

Posted on May 31st, 2013

You may have noticed the Smart Quill website had a bit of an overhaul recently. As well as cleaning up bits and pieces that have been driving me mad, we have Friends page, including links to organisations that are nothing to do with publishing (but pretty cool nonetheless). There are also a a new report, the First Cut, perfect for long manuscripts that need a thorough hack and slash before settling down to a structural edit.

There is also going to be a renewed focus on the agent recommendation service, which I am calling preagenting. Agents are increasingly busy and don’t always have the time to edit and develop scripts. So where an author needs a little more one-on-one consultation, Smart Quill will step in and preagent the work. Two Smart Quill authors found an agent last month; so it bodes well!

We are also half through the online tutorial series… Stay tuned for number four, imminently live.


Smart Quill Tutorial Three

Posted on May 15th, 2013

Don’t Lose the Plot


Interview with a Scout

Posted on May 5th, 2013

Literary scouts perform a very important function in publishing. They are often responsible for the discovery of mega-trends in publishing and for bringing bestsellers to a wider market. They work for a selection of international publishers and film/tv production houses and have vast, fascinating networks. They are basically cool book spies.

To that end, Daniela Schlingmann has answered some quick questions for us this month. She is the scout for Weltbild, Hoffmann und Campe, Cadeau, Luitingh-Sijthoff, Atlas Contact, Verlagsgruppe Oetinger, Univers Poche, Hr. Ferdinand and Bestseller to Boxoffice.

How would you explain the role of a literary scout?
We are the extended arm of our clients editorial departments in London.

What main criteria do you use when reading for your clients?
Having a sure sense of what their tastes are and if a book will suit their taste. What is a book trying to do or trying to be, and does it succeed?

Did you notice any fiction or non-fiction trends around London Book Fair?
Exciting political non-fiction, new thinkers, surprising and fresh new upmarket voices in fiction. Good storytelling will remain a key staple.

Finally, we asked Daniela what her favourite book was…

A book that still makes me cry is The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren. I have a copy on my shelf – and it did travel quite a lot with me. It’s probably the first dystopian YA novel that I ever read. Also, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, which created a whole new genre and led me to study German medieval culture and literature at university.